Category Archives: Oracle

CX Resolutions for 2014: Customer Experience

Last week we explored the concept of Commitment and the reciprocal relationship that must exist between an organization and its customers if an organization wants to truly maximize the benefits by adopting this concept as a resolution in 2014. If you have not read the previous post or others in the series on business resolutions you can find them here:

What do you think is the most important #CX resolution that companies should keep in 2014? pic.twitter.com/xJK2bOUC9O— Oracle CX (@OracleCX) January 16, 2014

Customer Experience is another must in the list of concepts presented by @OracleCX in the above image. On their website Oracle describes Customer experience as: the set of perceptions a customer has with a company throughout the buying and owning interactions. Positive customer experiences enable businesses to attract more, retain more, sell more, sell for more, and do more”. (Oracle.com)

 

The first time I really heard Customer Experience used as a phrase meant to define a movement was in 2008 when a solutions consultant working for the then RightNow Technologies handed me a book called Eight to Great written by Greg Gianforte the CEO and founder of the company. Before this time you heard about customer satisfaction and customer relationship management (CRM) but customer experience was still almost an afterthought at many organizations. In my almost two decades of experience working in or with customer service departments it was very clear at least for the first half that service was treated like the dirty secret that you needed to keep in the closet. The view from us soldiers in the trenches was that the big business didn’t care about us because we weren’t revenue generating, however what started to happen is that smart people outside the trenches began to realize what we knew all along. Supporting existing revenue had an impact on the way new revenue was generated, in other words happy customers equals more purchases for your brand.

 

In 2011 RightNow renamed the releases of its product to include CX in the name bringing even more attention to Customer Experience. If we jump ahead to later in 2011 the morning of the RightNow summit in Colorado I was sitting in Starbucks with a colleague and my phone starts going crazy with text messages, emails, google alerts all about one thing. RightNow has been bought by software giant Oracle. I remember very clearly there was a lot of anxiety at the summit that year as people waited with baited breath to hear what Greg Gianforte would tell them at the Keynote.

 

There was a very interesting video on the future of CX played that day and while yes it turns the typical daily interactions that most people dread into a sort of utopia I try to share it with people whenever I can. This video gives a glimpse of the future and how one might leverage a best of breed suite like RightNow in their business.

 

Jump ahead to 2014 and CX has been an almost colloquial phrase within customer oriented organizations. There is so much activity on #CX on twitter that I can’t keep up anymore. Even with all of these strides there is still plenty of room for growth and improvement. Organizations should still keep a careful watch on customer experience and strongly consider adopting it not just as a resolution for 2014 but as part of their core values.

 

In an Oracle Blog post from David Vap Group VP (another veteran of customer experience) he summarizes 8 predictions for customer service in 2014 and mentions how customer experience is transforming and will continue to do so into 2015 and beyond. At Open World 2013 in San Francisco I saw an amusing and thoughts provoking demonstration on how a coffee maker’s internal systems are being integrated with RightNow CX. David played the upset customer in good fun but the message behind it was this, not only are customers continuing to expect contact points across all channels but now they want their devices to do their own service or at the very least they want YOU the Organization to know who they are when they are calling and what they own 360 degree view.

Is it a coincidence that Greg’s book, David’s blog and the customer lifecycle are all based on infinity loops? I think not.

 

 

 

News FLASH: The February release has become generally available as I write this. Be sure to watch this space as I take a short break from the resolution series to review what’s new. If you missed the release you can find documentation ad a webcast about the new version here: http://communities.rightnow.com/posts/ca448b0b07

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for seven years.

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CX Resolutions for 2014: Commitment

The previous post in this series explored Customer Satisfaction and the role it plays as a strategic KPI particularly for business where improving customer experience is a mission critical driver. If you have not read the previous post or others in the series on business resolutions you can find them here:

CX Resolutions for 2014: Overview
CX Resolutions for 2014: Customer Loyalty
CX Resolutions for 2014: Customer Satisfaction

 

There has been a lot of research on the different components of commitment with respect to how an individual working for a company relates to it. In 2007 a research duo by the name Meyer and Allen published a book based on their research and the research of their predecessors. In the Human resource Management Review, Meyer and Allen take concepts that were already familiar and created a three component model that could be applied to the level of commitment between employee-organization. I would argue that those components could indeed be applied with respect to the customer-organization relationship as well.

Three Mindsets (adapted from Meyer and Allen and applied to the customer-organization relationship)
1. Normative commitment is the desire to remain a customer of an organization due to a feeling of obligation.
In my opinion normative is never where you want to be in any kind of relationship. Who wants to be the “old stand by”? Any organization who is seriously trying to improve customer commitment should try to change the mindset of these customers. Engage them whether through a loyalty program, focus groups, surveys or something more cutting edge like gamifcation (I would recommend reading Gamification by design published by O’Reilly. Their books have never failed me and I recommend them always to friends and colleagues interested in technology). People want to be important so tell them that they are.

2. Continuance commitment is the desire to remain a customer of an organization because of an awareness of the costs associated with leaving.
Well this is another one that organizations should try to change. Do not continue with continuance because once the costs associated with leaving are no longer a factor you will see attrition rates increase. A good example that illustrates this comes from a conversation I had just yesterday with my parents. They are in a contract with a certain cell phone provider who has become more expensive and seemingly more difficult to deal with than other providers. Yet my parents do not switch because of the perceived high cost associated with cancelling the contract early. However if we do some quick arithmetic it becomes apparent that the savings obtained over the next year far exceed the cost of cancelling today.
3. Affective commitment is the desire to remain a customer of an organization due to an emotional attachment to, and involvement with, that organization.
YES! This is the sweet spot, where you want your customers to be. They should be in love with your brand, your products, your services and even your customer support infrastructure. If your customers have an emotional attachment they will become your biggest champions and evangelists. To be effective you must be affective.

Customer Commitment is the desire of a consumer to remain a customer of an organization. While this is definitely true it is not the whole picture. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship be it personal or business or has strived to achieve a goal knows that commitment is a two way street. If an organization wants to feel the love from their customers they need to give the love.
I have three boys and bought Fisher Price Geo Trax train sets for all of them because I have an affective commitment with them and I feel they have one with their customer base. The toys are made well, durable enough to withstand being thrown in the mud, slammed against trees and taken in the tub. On two occasions when I had a customer service issue they assisted me quickly and replaced my item no questions asked. They sent me a coupon for another item of my choice and followed up with an email a few days after I received the replacement.

Where does RightNow come in?

That is an easy one to answer. It is a best of breed customer management solution that enables organizations who implement it to have a 360 degree view of their relationship with their customers.

 

With RightNow Web Experience organizations can provide chat, mobile, web self-service, an email management to customers.

With RightNow Social Experience organizations give customers an opportunity to reach out through facebook and twitter. Customers can partake in ongoing support conversations with like-minded individuals or propose innovative new ideas that can be voted on by their peers. Organizations can even gamify their social channels and online communities by offering recognition or even prizes to build commitment.

With RightNow Engage customers can receive email blasts about new promotions, safety advisories, surveys and much more.

Other offerings in the RightNow suite can be equally as useful but I wanted to highlight just a few.

I recently watched a video that I thought was a nice example of the fruits of commitment and figured it would be a good way to close our discussion on commitment. When I was at Open World this past September the America’s cup was going on at the same time so every day there were updates about how Team USA (sponsored by Oracle) was doing. Early on there were some pretty big setbacks and the team faced what appeared to be certain defeat but with a lot of commitment on the part of the team they pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in the history of the race. I hope you enjoy.

February release is just a week or so away from being generally available. Be sure to read up on all the latest RightNow specific information at: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/rightnow/overview/index.html

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com
eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php
About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for seven years.

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CX Resolutions for 2014: Customer Satisfaction

My last post took a look at Customer Loyalty and how a business can be impacted negatively when loyalty is lost. If you did not read the previous post you can find the contents here: CX Resolutions for 2014: Customer Loyalty

What do you think is the most important #CX resolution that companies should keep in 2014? pic.twitter.com/xJK2bOUC9O

— Oracle CX (@OracleCX) January 16, 2014

The second concept in the image above is Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) this is a strategic key performance indicator (KPI) that every business that is looking at improving overall customer experience, more specifically in the area of retention should be intimately familiar with.  I recall reading an Oracle whitepaper back in 2012 titled, “Customer Experience (CX) Metrics and Key Performance Indicatorsand thinking, “Wow this would have been really useful when I was a RightNow administrator trying to refine call center processes and enhance the quality of the analytics I delivered.”

The paper explains that there are three CX practice areas that businesses should draw KPIs from, these include acquisition, retention and efficiency.

Retention focuses on how organizations keep their customers, to reduce churn and to increase their life-time value.

Customer Satisfaction is the mean satisfaction score of customers for a given experience.

Notice how closely satisfaction is tied to loyalty. I am starting to develop a picture in my mind of machine with interlocking gears, coils and sprockets. However it is not yet clear if they are turly dependant on one another.

Every year Gartner and 1 to 1 Media give away awards at their 360 summit to businesses with a commitment to the innovative design and delivery of superior customer experiences at all points of interaction. This is demonstrated by significant improvements in customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. Every year several businesses with RightNow implementations manage to secure an award or two.

RightNow has the ability to send transactional, by proxy and proactive surveys, comes equipped with many standard reports dedicated to understanding CSAT and has a robust suite of social monitoring and engagement tools. In May 2013 Gartner positioned RightNow as a leader in Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center.  According to the report, “the blend of social media engagement with CRM software is evolving the contact center into the customer engagement center. Gartner’s 2013 CRM customer engagement center Magic Quadrant looks at vendors that respond to the challenge of any channel customer service engagement”.

 

This is a testament to the strength RightNow offers in areas of customer satisfaction. In early 2012 it was a strategic acquisition by Oracle to boost its SaaS portfolio for good reason. With the development capabilities and budget that Oracle has and will continue to put into scaling RightNow I do not foresee it moving out of the leader position any time in the near future.

 

February release is only weeks away from being available. Be sure to read up on all the latest RightNow specific information at: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/rightnow/overview/index.html

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for seven years.

 

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CX Resolutions for 2014 and leveraging RightNow

With each New Year people make personal and business related resolutions throughout the world. Some are successful and others are not, however I recently read that as much as 46% of the people who do make resolutions attain some degree of success. I decided on two business related resolutions:  to finally bite the bullet and take the dreaded exam and get my official Oracle RightNow Implementation certification; as well as to be more diligent about reading my work related twitter feeds.
Last week on Wednesday January 15th I succeeded in resolution one and got the piece of paper certifying me through Oracle. It was a very tough exam but I was happy to knock that goal out so early. While fulfilling resolution number two on Thursday January 16th and perusing my twitter feed, specifically everything related to #CX,  I saw an interesting question about corporate resolutions with an equally interesting picture tweeted by @OracleCX. Considering part of my job dictates living and breathing CX, I found myself pondering the question several times throughout the remainder of the week and over the weekend. The question continued to remain at the front of my thoughts as I read various other tweets and articles, as well as listening to what was going on in the news.
The tweet asked: What do you think is the most important #CX resolution that companies should keep in 2014?

As I said, I did find it quite thought provoking so much that I think it will take several posts to fully explore. Each of these initiatives is extremely important so just how does a company choose to focus on one over the other? Is it reasonable to assume that choosing just one will equate to a successful year for your brand? Perhaps or possibly there is a special blend that would work best. I think through careful consideration of what each of them loyalty, satisfaction, commitment, experience and trust bring to the table we will be able to derive the solution.
While exploring each of these initiatives I will also include information where relevant as to how I think a brand can leverage features within RightNow CX in order to be successful. If you currently own RightNow or are considering implementing it, the February release is only a month away from being available. Be sure to read up on all the latest RightNow specific information at: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/rightnow/overview/index.html

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com
eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php
About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for seven years.

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eVerge Upgrades Fusion HCM to Release 7: January 2014

We recently upgraded our Oracle Fusion HCM install from Release 5 to 7.  In this blog, the focus is on the new features and functionality of Release 7.   This release touted new features spanning many of the Fusion HCM products.  The major features of interest to our project team included the Simplified User Interface, OTBI Reporting, Talent Management and Workforce Compensation enhancements, as well as Payroll reporting.

Below you will find a sampling of what Release 7 has to offer us and our customers:

Simplified User Interface:

From Oracle: The simplified user interface for the Oracle Applications Cloud is a modern, intuitive, streamlined user interface for self-service users who need access to HR related tasks and information.  The Simplified User Interface is a quick access point for casual users to perform the most common HR tasks.

Our take: Our compensation plans are already configured with custom alerts to aid our managers with the compensation process.  Some of the alerts we had already incorporated are identifying terminated employees and recent new hires.  We plan to take advantage of this new feature for our upcoming quarterly bonus payout plan.  Providing our managers with real time changes will further enhance our compensation process.

Copy/Export/Import Extract Definition Functionality

From Oracle: You can now create new extract definitions through copy or export/import. Copy, Export, and Import process options are available on the table header of the Search Results table on the Manage Definitions page. Copy allows you to copy an extract definition within the same Legislative Data Group (LDG).  Export allows you to create an .xsd file with all the extract definition details. This .xsd file can be imported in any Fusion HCM pod (instance) across releases. You can use Export/Import to copy the extract definitions across different LDGs. You need to specify the target LDG while importing the .xsd file.

Our take: Our project team was successfully able to migrate data using the delivered Export/Import process. By using the delivered utility, we were able to eliminate data entry errors; and in addition, reduced the time for validation and verification. In addition to the LDG enhancement, we used the Export/Import delivered utility to migrate Implementation Project Plans from one Fusion HCM Pod to another. Our project team will definitely leverage the enhanced Export/Import utility for ongoing implementation efforts.

Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI) Enhancements

If you are not familiar with OTBI, it is essentially a set of pre-seeded yet customizable analysis structures that Fusion Applications users can access to create ad hoc reports, dashboards and alerts to aid daily decision-making.

From Oracle: The following OTBI features were added or changed since the last release of Oracle Fusion Applications:

•           Gender and Ethnicity have been added to the Worker dimension in all subject areas. The most recent gender and the primary ethnicity for the country or legislation of the worker’s primary assignment are used.

 •           A new Department Hierarchy dimension has been created to allow hierarchical aggregated reporting from the most recent active department tree, which contains only HCM Department Organizations. This dimension has been added to the Real Time subject areas.

 •           Assignment Count has been added to the Worker Assignment fact in the Workforce Management Real Time subject area.

 Our take: OTBI has had several iterations and continues to evolve over the life of the HCM Fusion product, but all reporting as needed for trends and analytics becomes more prominent. OTBI in Oracle’s Fusion HCM allows users to develop reports using Subject areas with a graphical interface and publish the analytics under one console. The figure shown is example of an analysis using Assignment Count fact measure. During the recruiting process, Worker analysis is performed for the staffing needs. That being said, the new enhancements in OTBI will help us match the skill set with the job requirements. 

 

Performance Management Enhancements

From Oracle: Performance Management Overview Pages Redesign; The Worker Overview page and My Directs tab in the Manager Overview page have been redesigned to a worker-centric layout.  In the new design, the page displays all performance documents for which each worker is eligible.  In previous versions My Directs tab on the Manager Overview page, a performance document had to be selected first to determine which workers were eligible to access it.

Our take: Oracle really listened to their customers by redesigning the manager’s view into their people’s performance documents.  This was a frustrating experience for our managers prior to Release 7.  This was the case especially for managers with a large number of direct reports.  The new overview displays the manager’s direct reports and the documents that are eligible and ready for evaluation.  Also, filtering capabilities are provided to list direct reports by document name, status and direct report. 

 

From Oracle: Performance document calculated ratings can now become the official rating.  Template configuration options are now available to define section ratings to be the calculated rating.  Prior to release 7 the calculated rating served as a guide for employees and managers to manually select a rating. 

Our take: Once again Oracle listened to their customers.  Our performance process is designed to rely on the calculated ratings.  Prior to Release 7, manually selecting a section rating was an additional step for our users.  Also, in many cases the incorrect section rating was selected and required administrative assistance to correct the ratings.  Today our users simply rate the individual items in a section and let the system do the rest.

Workforce Compensation: Alert Managers When Amounts They Enter Are Overridden

From Oracle: You can now create custom alerts to notify managers when a higher manager overrides a compensation amount. New columns can be used as conditions when building alerts, to identify the name of the manager who originally entered an amount and the name of the manager who last updated an amount. Previously, these columns were not available for use as conditions when building custom alerts, so managers had no clear visibility when an amount that they entered was modified by someone else.

Our take: Our compensation plans are already configured with custom alerts to aid our managers with the compensation process.  Some of the alerts we had already incorporated are identifying terminated employees and recent new hires.  We plan to take advantage of this new feature for our upcoming quarterly bonus payout plan.  Providing our managers with real time changes will further enhance our compensation process.

 

Payroll Enhancements

From Oracle: Several reports are now available for Fusion Payroll.  Oracle has delivered on several new reports including the Gross To Net, Activity Report, and Payroll Register.

Our take: Prior to Release 7 we had to rely on custom reports.  These new delivered reports are a positive step in the right direction, and we look forward to additional delivered reports in the future to help streamline our payroll process.

You can find more information for Release 7 by reading the release notes or attending HCM Live webinars.

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience in HCM. To learn more about HCM Fusion and how we can help implement HCM Fusion for your organization, please contact us at 888-548-1973 or through our website http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

 

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